Before Fire Alarms – there was … FIRE!

In this year of 2018 you can be assured that Bath & West Fire & Safety will provide you with the most up-to-date fire safety systems, including our resident fire safety alarm specialist. But if you cast your mind back before electricity was installed in every building, what did people do if they spotted a fire and needed to raise an alarm?

They shouted. The effectiveness depended on how loud you could holler. And upon hearing that someone grabbed a whistle or rang a bell to alert everyone in the vicinity that there was a fire. Tragically sometimes fire was not detected until the smoke had choked its way around a building, and then there was a scramble to find water, beaters or sand and crowds of helpers to try and put it out. But after the discovery of electricity at the beginning of the century, in around 1850 the first known fire alarm system was invented in the USA. It received a muted response, mostly because for some reason the inventor was keen to keep the design to himself, and the alarm became the curiosity of the rich and powerful. But in 1902 English Inventor George Andrew Darby (pictured) created a more practical fire alarm but it was so large it was only suitable for very large factories and other industrial buildings.

But all was set to change in the 1940s when a Swiss boffin invented the smoke detector which detected particles of smoke, and developments continued into the 1970s when detections became more intricate. However, it wasn’t until the 21st century that the fire alarm reached its true sophistication with the benefits of a wireless system and sensitive detectors.

The right fire alarm for you depends on your unique requirements, but please contact us at Bath & West Fire & Safety for expert advice. Your local friendly fire safety experts. Please vote for us in the Bradford-on-Avon Business Awards .

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